SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury's reviewed three other planning proposals in St Austell before choosing Coyte Farm, it has emerged.
In a letter seen by this newspaper, the company revealed its reasons for supporting the £110 million development on 98 acres of green land, claiming it would "substantially improve" St Austell.
The scheme would see a Sainsbury's superstore with green credentials, 160,000sq ft shopping park, care home and pub built on 98 acres of green land in St Mewan.
St Austell Town Council objected to the application at a meeting last week, despite the fact Marks and Spencer has now confirmed its interest in opening a store on the site.
An official letter addressed from Sainsbury's new stores town planning lead, Bruno Moore, to town council clerk, David Pooley, said: "Sainsbury's has a long-standing requirement for a new store in St Austell. Prior to selecting the Coyte Farm site Sainsbury's carefully considered all the sites in the town currently being promoted for foodstore development."
Simon Hoare, speaking for Mercian Developments Ltd who are behind Coyte Farm, said Sainsbury's looked at Morrison's site in Pentewan Road by Broadley Park Properties Ltd, the Cornwall Council offices site in Penwinnick Road by Terrace Hill and Trewhiddle Farm off Trewhiddle Road by Westcountry Land.
"Sainsbury's selected Coyte Farm as it provides an opportunity to substantially improve St Austell's convenience and comparison retail offer," the letter continues.
"We believe that the development of the Coyte Farm site will allow St Austell to compete more effectively with other retail destinations in Cornwall. The development of Coyte Farm will allow St Austell residents to shop in their own town rather than driving to Truro."
Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee is due to decide the fate of the Coyte Farm, Pentewan Road and Penwinnick Road planning applications at its strategic planning committee meeting on Thursday, January 17.